While not greatly understood, whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries sustained as a result of car accidents. A whiplash injury occurs when you are struck from behind, and your head lunges forward and then whips back. This violent motion can cause severe damage to the muscles, bones, and nerves in your neck and spine, and recovery can be long and arduous.
Eltringham Law Group’s Florida car accident lawyers have experience on our side and can help you or your loved ones navigate the legal process and any claims you may need to make following a whiplash injury.
Causes of Whiplash
Rear-end accidents are the most common cause of whiplash injury. Injuries can vary greatly depending on many factors, including the speed of impact and the age and general health of the injured individual. It is important to know that you do not need to be struck at a high rate of speed, and your car doesn’t even need to be damaged for you to experience the symptoms of whiplash. Someone simply rolling into you at a stop light or intersection is enough to cause whiplash injuries.
What You and Your Loved Ones Need To Know About Whiplash
Unlike broken bones or cuts and scrapes often resulting from a car accident, the injuries associated with whiplash are not readily observable. This ambiguity can create difficulty when working with an insurance company.
Without proper documentation, it is easy for an insurance company to assert an injury is being embellished or falsified completely. In addition, the adrenaline rush experienced following an accident can mask early symptoms of whiplash injury.
For both reasons, it is critical to assume you have been injured if you have been in a rear-end collision and seek medical evaluation as soon as possible.
8 Common Signs of Whiplash
Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash injury include:
- Neck pain: Pain and neck stiffness are the most common symptoms experienced with a whiplash injury. The pain can start immediately following the accident or can take hours to become noticeable.
- Shoulder pain: Pain from damage to muscles and nerves in your neck may commonly spread to your shoulders and between your shoulder blades.
- Difficulty moving or turning your head: Stiffness from muscle strain will likely make it difficult to move your head comfortably for several days and possibly longer, depending on the severity of your injury.
- Headache: Headaches that result from whiplash often feel like they radiate from the base of the neck throughout the back of the head.
- Dizziness: Damage to the cervical spine can cause sensations of dizziness.
- Numbness in extremities: Damage to the spinal nerves can create numbness and even tingling that extends from the neck through the arms and fingers.
- Muscle spasms: The damage caused to the neck muscles can result in painful spasms that may occur sporadically or as a result of neck movement.
- Vision problems: Nerve and muscle damage in the neck can translate to blurry or unfocused vision in many whiplash injury victims.
Treatment for Whiplash
Once a physician has examined you or your loved one, they will determine the extent and severity of the injury and an appropriate treatment plan. Typical treatments include:
- Heat and cold therapy
- Over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Muscle relaxers
- Physical therapy
- Pain relieving shots
How Long Will Symptoms Persist?
Many people who sustain a whiplash injury will recover quickly within a few days to a week. In cases where the spine or nerves sustained damage, the pain may be ongoing and even become debilitating. It is not uncommon for headaches to persist chronically. Remember, early medical treatment and clear documentation will be crucial to your claim.
You Can Make a Claim For Compensation
You should know that you can make a whiplash injury claim in Florida with your or the other party’s insurance company. Depending on your unique situation, you may be able to recover the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your claim may be a mix of your auto insurance personal injury coverage and the at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage.
Eltringham Law Group Can Help
The rush of activity and emotions following a rear-end collision can be overwhelming. Injuries can often be disorienting and severely impact your life and even livelihood. Eltringham Law Group has the experience and knowledge to help guide you through this challenging time and ensure you are adequately compensated. Please contact us so we can start fighting for you and your family today.
FAQs About Whiplash
What are whiplash grades?
While all whiplash cases are different, Whiplash injuries are often graded as a simplifying method of denoting severity. Injuries are graded from 0 to 4, with 0 being no injury at all to Grade 4 being severe pain with possible neurological impacts.
Does whiplash only impact the neck?
No. Car accident victims may also have pain in their lower back if the torso moves forward and backward violently as a result of the accident.